Why Does My Skateboard Turn the Opposite Way?
Skateboarding is a lot of fun. It gives you an opportunity to get outside, get some exercise, and socialize with other skateboarding enthusiasts. Unfortunately, people often have some annoying problems with skateboarding that can lead to injury if not addressed.
One of those problems is when the wheels don’t behave how you expect them to.
Skateboards usually turn the wrong way or turn on their own due to wheels being unevenly worn, improper technique, or having too-tight trucks. Bad bearings can also cause the board to misbehave when used.
There’s a lot of underlying causes to why your skateboard might seem to have a mind of its own. The rest of this article will explore how to identify the issue with your board as well as how to correct your form to turn the right way.
Examine Your Technique
The first thing you should do before taking your skateboard apart is to make sure you’re using the right form. Ensure that your weight is evenly distributed and that you’re not positioned too close to the front or back, since this can put you off-balance and mess up your technique.
Your feet should line up straight across the deck of the skateboard. If your left foot is in front, execute a left turn by leaning back over your heels. A right turn can be performed by leaning over your toes.
Bending your knees slightly to lower your center of gravity can help you maintain balance better while performing a turn. In short, always lean the direction that you want to turn and adjust your balance to account for the lean.
Unevenly Worn Wheels
If you’ve been riding for a while, your issue might involve the wear and tear on your wheels. All skaters favor one side or another when they ride, which can lead to uneven wear on the components that handle steering on your board.
When you execute a turn with differently sized wheels, you’re going to get inconsistent results. To fix this, you can flip your wheels and swap them around.
The front left wheel should swap places with the right rear wheel, and the front right wheel should swap with the left rear wheel.
Doing so will help even out the wear on your wheels after you ride for a while.
Bad Bearings Can Cause Uneven Turning
Another common cause that makes skateboards turn the opposite way is bad bearings. Sometimes, bearings on one side can be tighter and not spin as easily, causing the board to turn on its own.
To fix this, you can take off the bearings and give them a good clean to eliminate the possibility of dirt or grime interfering with the performance of the bearings.
Ensure that your bearings are still in good condition and install them evenly, with neither one tighter than the other.
If your bearings are broken, you should replace them immediately. Wobbly bearings are practically begging for an injury.
Trucks and Kingpin Bolts Can Make Steering Difficult
There are a lot of different issues that can occur with your trucks. If your trucks are too loose, your skateboard will definitely have a mind of its own and lean in one direction.
In addition, if your trucks are unevenly tightened, then your board will be easier to turn in one direction than another.
Making sure the kingpin bolt on your trucks is properly installed, it’s of great importance if you want smooth steering. Too loose and your trucks will have too much play, making it hard to control turns.
Just make sure you don’t overtighten your kingpin bolt, as this can cause damage to other parts of your skateboard and make steering more difficult.
Bad Brushings Can Cause Uneven Turning
The brushings are the plastic pieces in the center of your trucks that handle pressure whenever you turn, allowing for a smoother motion.
Over time, brushings can become worn and dried out. If a brushing on one side is used more, it can become misaligned, making steering uneven and inconsistent.
Turning in the opposite direction you want to go can help even out the compressive force on each side and potentially sort out the issue, but if your brushings appear brittle and cracked, consider replacing them with new ones.
Pivot Cup Damage Makes a Board Lean
In similar fashion, wear and tear on your pivot cups can cause it to crack on one side, making the board lean unexpectedly.
If your skateboard is rattling, it’s likely that either your pivot cup or bearing is damaged. The pivot cup controls the movement of the kingpin and thus the trucks.
A loose pivot cup can be a serious hazard to the rider. Take off your trucks and examine the pivot cup to see if there’s any wiggle-room or damage. If so, replacing it for a new one is your best bet.
Unfortunately, cheap equipment can break down easily. Your average skateboard from Walmart just isn’t going to perform as well as a professional one.
While all boards do have a slight natural lean that you must learn to control, cheaper boards are more prone to having loose parts and breaking down more quickly.
If you want to learn how to skateboard more professionally, consider ditching the toy and investing in a better board. Even for beginners, learning on a better board will give you a much better experience than struggling with a cheap one.
Not only that, but bad boards come with a whole bunch of issues that can cause you problems down the line whether it be bad trucks, wobbly bearings, cheap deck material.
In the end, if you want to get the most out of skateboarding, a good board is well worth the price.
Skateboarding is a lot of fun at any level, but when parts are loose or damaged, they can cause the board to behave in ways we don’t expect. Not only is this no fun, it’s also pretty dangerous at times.
Always make sure you’re using proper form, weight distribution, and technique when turning for the best results.
Examining the parts of your board, including the wheels, bearings, pivot cups, brushing, trucks, and kingpin can help you discover the source of the issue.
Thankfully, most of these parts are pretty cheap and can be easily replaced, and almost every kind of steering issue you can think of with skateboards can be addressed with an easy DIY fix.
Just keep in mind that a skateboard will always have a natural lean to it, and sometimes, simple issues will address themselves if you just keep riding.